When a divorced mother of three re-married a man with three, parenting styles clashed. Luckily, the mother, Debbie Ficarra, kept her head high with appreciation and patience.

Ficarra was laid back in her parenting styles. Her ex-husband had left the family and refused to stay in contact. It made most sense to keep the children under one roof with her, close for comfort. After time, little did Ficarra know that it would be too close for comfort, sooner than later. Ficarra met someone new and fell in love. The new husband and stepfather, Hugo, was from a different culture where parenting styles included more set guidelines.

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“When I married Hugo, I learned that his parenting style was much more authoritative than mine, that was more relaxed,” Ficarra admitted. “Yet, after speaking with him in depth, I learned that his parenting style was to be respected. I would encourage more coParents to be more authoritative. His children are much more regulated and respectful. We have less problems with his kids.”

Ficarra felt additional empathy for her children, who went through a rough parental divorce. The children lived in their mother’s home into their early 30s and also didn’t pay rent. She felt like she should have been more firm with more social perimeters. Hugo’s sons are not as intrusive into his life, she has realized.

With the authoritative (less strict than authoritarian) parenting style, Ficarra feels as if she would have been able to say, “You need to work that out on your own,” when her daughters were indeed, old enough to care for themselves.

Ficarra said in closing that it is important for the children to leave the nest at the appropriate age to learn, grow and pay their own way and let the parent plan the end of their career and retirement.


About Lori Denman-Underhill

Lori Denman-Underhill uses the power of the press to raise awareness about endless causes. She is the Content Director for the company, coParenter.

Mothering is Lori’s top priority. She understands the importance of raising a healthy and happy child. She appreciates the opportunity to offer helpful advice to coParents as a mother and also as a preschool teacher of many years.

As a professional journalist, Lori’s work graces the pages of 20 publications, in print and online. She also attains a BA in Journalism and Sociology from the University of New Mexico and is certified in Childcare Education. For the past eight years, Lori has cared for and worked with young children. She hopes to share her endless amount of childcare knowledge with coParenter readers.